Posts Tagged ‘Kathy McCanna’

Licensing Collaborative Established as an Evidence-Based Best Practice

August 26th, 2013

Our Licensing team routinely analyzes the most frequent and important deficiencies that we observe when we conduct inspections at our licensed facilities.  We use the data to help educate the folks that we license… and to identify topics for provider training and technical assistance (public health interventions). For example, our medical facilities licensing team has found that infection control had become increasingly troublesome among some dialysis providers.  

That info led our medical facilities licensing team to join with our Office of Infectious Disease Services and our Healthcare Associated Infections Advisory Committee to conduct a day-long collaboration for our licensed dialysis providers and public health professionals. We conducted the collaborative a few months ago- providing tools for dialysis providers to improve their infection control performance by building relationships with public health, renal associations, federal partners and other stakeholders.  The event was very well attended; participants spent the day sharing best practices, identifying new ways to promote infection control, and developing a strategic plan for future activities. Best of all- we’ve seen a decrease in deficient practices since the event.  

Our ADVICE Collaborative has been identified by the federal government as a Best Practice Pilot and will be featured at the upcoming Roadmap to Eliminate HAI: 2013 Action Plan Conference. Kathy McCanna, our branch chief of Healthcare Institution Licensing will be presenting at the conference about our collaborative.  You’ll find more about the collaborative by visiting our website. This is just one of our many examples of how we’re leveraging licensing to improve public health outcomes.

Hitting Our Mark at Showtime

February 28th, 2013

Last Saturday our Licensing team hit the mark at Showtime- when it matters most.  After hearing that the Fountain Retirement Hotel had put residents on notice it was closing, we immediately became concerned that staff would stop showing up, food and medication would not be given out, and the residents would be turned out into the streets to live. Many of the residents have significant medical and behavioral health needs, and need a caregiver to assist them with things like taking medication and preparing food.  

Our licensing team arrived at the facility immediately after hearing of the situation from the Sheriff’s Office…  and our licensing team pretty much right away called an “immediate jeopardy” (meaning that there was the potential for a real threat to health and safety of the residents).  Our team stayed all afternoon and into the night, working with the facility’s owner and manager to ensure all residents would be safe.  We maintained a strong presence at the facility throughout the weekend, making sure there were proper caregivers, enough food, and that residents were receiving their medication. 

We’re still sending surveyors out twice a day and are working with many other agencies, including AHCCCS, the VA, Adult Protective Services, Magellan, Partners in Recovery, and the Long Term Care Ombudsman’s Program to make sure the residents are finding new homes that will be able to meet their needs.  A huge thanks to Dr. Cara Christ, Kathy McCanna, Richard Young, Ellie Strang, and Jim Tiffany, for responding so effectively and ensuring the Health and Wellness of these Arizonans.  Thanks!

ADHS’ Disease Detectives

July 25th, 2012

Awhile back, our epidemiology and licensing team of disease detectives including Jason Lempp, Cara Christ, Vinita Oberoi, Jessica Rigler, Ken Komatsu, Kathy McCanna, Connie Belden, Ken Komatsu, and Shoana Anderson learned of a severe case of a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus  (MRSA) through our 24-hour disease reporting system.  Our team quickly contacted the county public health department which immediately began an investigation into the cause.  

Their investigation quickly uncovered more people with the infection who had been seen the same day.  The detectives also found that a single-dose vial of solution used for pain meds was diluted and used for more than one patient.  Medication shortages often push health-care providers to search for solutions to provide comparable care using limited supplies- which is what looks like happened in this case.  

Our work with the county led to an improvement in the clinic’s practices through discontinued use of mixed products; appropriate use of single dose vials; using personal protective equipment, such as face masks, during medication preparation and injections procedures; education of all staff on infection control practices; and the development of a plan to report further suspected infections.  This Arizona investigation was written up in this week’s CDC Feature Article and has added to the national picture on injection safety best practices. 

Note: Health-care-associated infections (HAI) affect nearly 100,000 people every year and result in over $30B in unnecessary health-care costs (HHS).  Our HAI Program works with partners across the state to rapidly identify and help prevent these infections. Traditionally, the focus of preventing HAIs has been in hospital settings, but more and more people are being identified outside of hospital settings.  They can happen at any health-care facility, but simple steps can help protect patients.

AZ Kicks off the “No Place Like Home” Campaign

March 16th, 2012

Kathy McCanna, Alan Oppenheim, and Connie Belden (from Licensing) and Kristy Benton (from Behavioral Health) recently jumped head-first into a new Arizona health-care initiative called No Place Like Home which is Arizona’s approach to the Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs project.  The project aims to prevent hospital-acquired conditions and hospital re-admissions.  The name No Place Like Home means that it’s better to be at home than back in a hospital. 

The (public-private) Partnership for Patients brings together leaders of major hospitals, employers, health plans, physicians, nurses, and patient advocates along with State and Federal governments in a shared effort to focus on preventing hospital-acquired conditions and decreasing hospital re-admissions.  The No Place Like Home Campaign engages hospitals, rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities, hospices, home health agencies, community pharmacies, clinician offices, community-based organizations and other care providers in an intense collaborative to: 

  • Prevent 4,000 readmissions within 30 days of hospital discharge by June 30, 2013;
  • Reduce the overall readmission rate for Medicare beneficiaries by 20%; and
  • Decrease health-care expenditures related to these re-admissions. 

Our partners are the Health Services Advisory Group, Inc. (HSAG), the Arizona Partnership Implementing Patient Safety (APIPS),  the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) & AHCCCS.  HSAG will manage the day-to-day operational aspects of the Campaign by providing staffing and resources to support participants. Our Licensing team (in their role with Medicare Surveys and Certification) will be an asset in providing assessment data that can be used for quality improvement strategies in Arizona. This Campaign is totally in keeping with the ADHS Vision of “Health and Wellness for all Arizonans” as well as our Strategic Map overarching goal to “Achieve targeted improvements in health outcomes”.